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Essays 18 May 2022, 13:36

author: Marek Jura

Great Games That Sold Poorly (at Least Initially)

It's no news that artistic success doesn't have to go hand in hand with commercial one. However, sometimes it's hard to believe that the titles which are successful and popular to this day were complete commercial flops in their first years.

Psychonauts

  1. Release date: 2005
  2. Genre: arcade action game with platformer and adventure elements
  3. Greatest advantages: Creative combat and exploration mechanics, interesting puzzles, great audiovisual setting

The adventures of the young psychonaut Razputin do let you get bored even for a moment. The protagonist fights a threat in the real world, and then inside the head of a person possessed by evil forces. Thanks to this, the gameplay doesn't become repetitive, and the incredibly colorful visuals encourage exploration of all the nooks and crannies of subsequent locations.

The early Psychonauts was seemingly released at the wrong time. Although the game collected a bag of prizes and received positive reviews, it generated several millions of dollars of loss at first! It was one of the reasons for the resignation of the CEO of the studio – Carl Yankowski. Soon, however, the trend began to reverse, and in March 2012, the total number of copies sold exceeded 400,000.

This allowed a follow-up to be developed with a much larger budget. Psychonauts 2 from 2021 sold fantastically from the get-go. In this case, the high quality of the game went hand in hand with financial results. Ultimately, the authors were able to get a breather – it did take over 15 years in total, but the effort put into creating the original world was ultimately not wasted.

  1. Psychonauts in our encyclopedia

 

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